Photo of Government of Canada renews investment in CIFAR, funds AI initiative

Government of Canada renews investment in CIFAR, funds AI initiative

News 22.03.2017

In Budget 2017 the Government of Canada announced it will renew and enhance its funding for CIFAR, investing $35 million over the next five years in CIFAR’s mission of enabling transformative knowledge by catalyzing global networks of the world’s pre-eminent researchers. The government also announced that CIFAR will administer a $125 million Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy for research and talent.

“I want to thank the Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains, and the government of Canada for this support,” says CIFAR President and CEO Dr. Alan Bernstein. “This government understands the importance of investing in fundamental research, and they understand that the CIFAR model of bringing together some of the best minds to address important global questions benefits both Canada and the world.”

The $35 million in  funding will allow CIFAR to support a number of priorities, including:

  • Global science excellence. CIFAR’s established research programs bring together some of Canada’s and the world’s top researchers to collaborate in long-term networks. CIFAR’s new Catalyst Fund will help to support high-risk/high-payoff research amongst CIFAR’s close to 400 fellows across 18 countries.
  • Education and training. CIFAR recently launched the CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program, which will provide early-career researchers with the research networks and training opportunities they need to become tomorrow’s research leaders.
  • An innovative economy and society. Through a growing knowledge outreach program, CIFAR is funneling cutting-edge research to the business leaders, policy makers and community groups that can use it to undertake evidence-based innovation.

In addition to funding for CIFAR’s core mission, the Government of Canada is funding a Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy for research and talent that will cement Canada’s position as a world leader in AI. The $125 million strategy will attract and retain top academic talent in Canada, increase the number of post-graduate trainees and researchers studying artificial intelligence, and promote collaboration between Canada’s main centres of expertise in Montreal, Toronto-Waterloo and Edmonton.

The funds will be administered through CIFAR, which has provided important support for innovative work in AI through its Learning in Machines and Brains program.

CIFAR is generously supported by the governments of Canada, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. Generous support also comes from Canadian and international partners and donors, including major support from the Azrieli Foundation and Brain Canada.

Banner image: WikiCommons, Taxiarchos22

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